Exploring the Extravagant World of Hat Luncheons

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The Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, affectionately known as “the hat lunch,” is a prestigious event where socialites gather to showcase their most elaborate and eccentric headwear. This year, attendees raised an impressive $4.6 million for charity while parading around in fascinators adorned with flowers, feathers, bows, and beads.

One of the standout ensembles at the luncheon was worn by Randi Zuckerberg and Michelle Kluz, who paid homage to Flaco, a beloved owl from the Central Park Zoo. Their hats featured flowers, twigs, and faux owls, symbolizing the freedom and joy that Flaco brought to the community. Kluz shared, “It was a fun experience tracking Flaco around Central Park, and as residents of the Upper West Side, we wanted to honor him in our own way.”

The event was a gathering of New York City’s elite, with notable attendees such as Gillian Miniter, Serena Miniter, Elyse Newhouse, and Muffie Potter Aston. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a regular at the luncheon, praised Central Park as a unique and irreplaceable location for such gatherings. While he refrained from choosing a favorite hat, he emphasized the significance of the event and its connection to the city.

In addition to the extravagant displays of flora and fauna, one guest sported a fascinator that resembled a wok filled with noodles. Elizabeth R. Varet playfully explained, “I don’t like anyone taking me too seriously,” showcasing the whimsical and lighthearted nature of the event.

The Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon is not just a charity event; it is a celebration of creativity, individuality, and community. Through their elaborate headwear, attendees pay tribute to iconic figures like Flaco, support important causes, and come together in a show of unity and camaraderie. This unique event highlights the intersection of fashion, philanthropy, and personal expression, making it a must-attend affair for New York’s high society.

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